View Full Version : Help interpreting MRI!

09-08-2017, 05:31 PM
Chloe (21)
So recently fell down the stairs and ended up in hospital, had MRI and the results weren't really explained to me, in fact I got sent home saying it was only bruising and to take paracetamol. After phoning my GP a couple of days later because still in pain they told me I had bulging discs in my lower spine.

The MRI report reads:
At L3/L4 and L4/L5 there are mild circumferential disc herniation which, in combination with ligamentum flavum hypertrophy cause narrowing of the lateral recesses and minor stenosis of the exit foramina bilaterally, but no frank neural compromise.

Can somebody explain this in "patient" words! And explain the recovery process, I have been going to physio since but I just feel that nothing has been fully explained.


09-09-2017, 01:48 PM
Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal column which starts happening at about your age. It will continue happening until you are very old...it is VERY SLOW in progression. The term ligamentum flavum hypertrophy is a symptom of spinal stenosis, and it means that the connective tissue of the spine is enlarged. This can also be due to the herniations. It is benign and not a big deal at all.

A herniation, as seen in L3-L4- L5 are all on the lumbar part of your spine, or the lower part. Mild herniation can be caused by accidents, over exercising, lifting incorrectly, all sorts of minor things can cause this minor herniation. Exercises should help, Physical Therapy is always recommended. Being mindful of your posture and not slouching will help as well. Eventually, with the right PT exercises, you may strengthen your spine to the point where it stops hurting.

I have lived with herniated discs for 10+ years and just live with it. I have no plans to have back surgery! I hope this helps. I tried to simplify this for you- but really, talk to your therapist. Ask them their experience with herniations like this. They see it all the time!